B.C. Lions returning to Kamloops for training camp featuring revamped FanFest

Photo courtesy: Paul Yates/B.C. Lions

The B.C. Lions are returning to Kamloops for training camp in 2024 with a revamped event for fans and young football players.

The team’s FanFest will take place on Saturday, May 18, featuring a ‘Play with the Pros’ clinic for kids aged six to 13 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. The Lions will play a full scrimmage that afternoon from 1:00 to 3:15 p.m., after which a street festival will be held downtown at 4:00 p.m. featuring live music, food, beverages, and games.

“FanFest is a highly-anticipated event on our calendar for both members of our organization and our outstanding fans themselves,” said team president Duane Vienneau in a statement. “We are excited to expand the tradition this season and beyond, giving our great fans the opportunity to also enjoy some activities in beautiful downtown Kamloops.”

First-year players will hit the field at Hillside Stadium for a three-day rookie mini-camp on Wednesday, May 8. Veterans will then report to Thompson Rivers University on Saturday, May 11 with the first practice taking place the following day on Sunday, May 12.

“The amenities and hospitality given to our club in Kamloops are the best we can ask for,” said co-general manager and director of football operations Neil McEvoy. “The football team is thrilled to be kicking off a 14th straight season in Canada’s Tournament Capital.”

B.C. will play its first preseason game against the Stampeders at McMahon Stadium in Calgary on Saturday, May 25 and return to Kamloops for four days of practice ahead of their second preseason game on Friday, May 31 against the Edmonton Elks.

Hillside Stadium was opened in 2006 and plays host to the Thompson Rivers WolfPack, the Canadian Junior Football League’s Kamloops Broncos, the Pacific Coast Soccer League’s Kamloops Excel, and Rivers FC of League1 British Columbia. Kamloops is located 350 kilometres northeast of Vancouver.